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Date: Jun 02, 2009
Hofstra Engineering Chair to Present Paper at Cooperstown Baseball Symposium for 10th Year
Will speak on the desegregation of baseball management
Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY – Hofstra Engineering Department Chair and baseball scholar Richard Puerzer, Ph.D., will for the 10th consecutive year present a paper at the annual Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture, speaking on race and Major League Baseball's management structure.
The annual gathering, which runs from June 3-5, is co-sponsored by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and State University of New York College at Oneonta and examines the impact of baseball on American culture from inter- and multi-disciplinary perspectives.
"I’ve presented on a variety of topics but most have centered on engineering, technology and management issues in baseball," said Dr. Puerzer, who will present his paper, "Jim Gilliam and Elston Howard: Exemplars of the Desegregation of Major League Baseball Management" on Thursday, June 4 as part of a panel on "Baseball Integration".
Dr. Puerzer's talk will look at the careers of the two African American baseball players who both became coaches – Gilliam with the Los Angeles Dodgers (player-coach in 1964 and 1965, full-time coach 1966-78), Howard with the New York Yankees (1969-79) – but who were denied positions as managers.
"Jim 'Junior' Gilliam and Elston Howard were the first two African American coaches who had careers of significant tenure," said Dr. Puerzer. "Although both men publicly expressed the desire to manage on the major league level, neither was given the opportunity. My talk will discuss the trials and tribulations of Howard and Gilliam as players and coaches, and will describe their pioneering efforts as well as their struggles as African-Americans with aspirations in major league baseball beyond the playing field."
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